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Physicians Leveraging Social Media to Educate Patients

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, May 3, 2012

This article appears in the April 2012 issue of Healthcare Marketing Advisor.

Many physicians are still hesitant about using social media in their professional lives. Concerns range from time commitment, liability, patient privacy, and unfamiliarity with the technology, to the appropriateness of social media interactions in a professional setting.

According to a study by QuantiaMD, 87% of physicians use at least one social media site for personal use, but only 67% use at least one social ­media site professionally. Of those physicians who use social media professionally, the plurality (28%) are participating in physician communities.

When it comes to sites that ­encourage patient-physician interaction, the percentage of physicians on those sites drops significantly. For example, only 15% of physicians are on Facebook professionally, 8% use YouTube, 8% read blogs, 3% use Twitter, and 3% are involved in patient communities.

But physicians should know that social media sites are not just a healthcare marketing or recruitment tool. They can also help educate and engage patients—and physicians play a vital role in those conversations.

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2 comments on "Physicians Leveraging Social Media to Educate Patients"


Erick Kinuthia (5/9/2012 at 3:40 PM)
Fantastic post. Physicians should see social media as a way of reaching out to patients and helping them. Even though they won't be expecting it, they are more like to gain in the long-run. Erick Kinuthia Team MDwebpro

Hart Oldenburg (5/3/2012 at 7:17 PM)
Tell me please, how does the expenditure of a trillio dollar to 'heal' obesity patient fit into a positive health program? It stinks! I own the discovery and correction of obesity with its [INVALID]of related deseases. I condemned food guides and diets in 1992, all wrong, weight gain promoting. No publicity? They own the news and their jobs. Hart Smart Oldenburg is ambarrassingly simple, we can retire 90%, any age into comfortable resign and gain a few new healthy years.